Apple Spice Cake

A Rosh Hashanah favorite gets a Martha Stewart twist

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This is the cake the senator ate.

If I were Dr. Seuss, that would make a great beginning to this post. But I’m not, so here’s the story: I volunteer twice a week at the Democratic Party of Lane County. That’s a major step back from 2012, when I spent six days a week holed up in my town’s Obama campaign office, managing the data collection for the downtown canvass area. Now I’ve been reduced to stuffing envelopes and putting together walk packets – this is what happens when you don’t stay involved after the election – but, from the reaction of everyone at the office, my primary role is Food Bearer. I’ve made butternut squash muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and gluten-free brownies for one of the few people actually getting paid to make phone calls, a teddy bear of a man named Don.

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But the biggest thing I’ve done was on request: an apple spice cake for Senator Ron Wyden, who mad an appearance at the office after stopping by the City Club of Eugene to talk about privacy issues. I’m admittedly not a huge fan of Wyden – I don’t think he’s sufficiently supportive of the president, for one thing, and his privacy crusade doesn’t do much for someone raised on an Internet driven by personal information made public – but I cant say I’ve ever baked for a U.S. senator before.


Wyden arrived on the last day of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, and the office’s grimy whiteboard welcomed the senator with “Happy New Year, Sen. Wyden!” scrawled above the ever-present tally of days until the election. Apple spice cake is apparently a traditional Rosh Hashana dish, and while my Martha Stewart interpretation was a pretty loose riff on that tradition (the caramel sauce may not have been typical, but it was tasty as well as necessary to hide the missing chunk of cake that had stuck to the Bundt pan when I tried to invert it too soon), it was at least a nice effort.

I didn’t stick around for the Wyden event – no senator-baker selfies or pics of Wyden with a forkful of apple spice cake – but some fellow DPLC’ers confirmed that everyone had “devoured” the cake. Aww, shucks – I’m blushing.

I’m a political junkie, if you hadn’t already gathered that, but caterer to the pols is not a career choice I’d considered. Now . . . well, you never know.

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Apple Spice Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 10 people



3 cups flour

1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 ground allspice

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 cups sugar

1 1/3 cups vegetable oil

3 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3-4 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced (3 cups)

Caramel Sauce

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp. vanilla

Salt to taste



Preheat oven too 350.

Sift together flour, spices, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, mix sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla until bright yellow.

Combine dry ingredients with wet, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in diced apples.

Pour the batter into a 12-cup Bundt pan coated generously with cooking spray. Bake 75-90 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool for 20 minutes on a wire rack, then invert onto rack to cool completely.

Caramel Sauce

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sauce thickens. Drizzle over cake and serve.

Apple Spice Cake and Caramel Sauce recipe from Martha Stewart.

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